- CHÂTEAUBRIAND, FRANÇOIS RENÉ DE
- eminent French littérateur, born in St. Malo, younger son of a noble family of Brittany; travelled to N. America in 1791; returned to France on the arrest of Louis XVI., and joined the EMIGRANTS (q.v.) at Coblenz; was wounded at the siege of Thionville, and escaped to England; wrote an "Essay on Revolutions Ancient and Modern," conceived on liberal lines; was tempted back again to France in 1800; wrote "Atala," a story of life in the wilds of America, which was in 1802 followed by his most famous work, "Génie du Christianisme"; entered the service of Napoleon, but withdrew on the murder of the Duc d'Enghien; though not obliged to leave France, made a journey to the East, the fruit of which was his "Itinéraire de Paris à Jerusalem"; hailed with enthusiasm the restoration of the Bourbons in 1814; supported the Bourbon dynasty all through, though he wavered sometimes in the interest of liberty; withdrew from public life on the elevation of Louis Philippe to the throne; he was no thinker, but he was a fascinating writer, and as such exercised no small influence on the French literature of his day; he lived in a transition period, and hovered between legitimism and liberty, the revolution and reaction, and belonged to the Romantic school of literature - was perhaps the father of it in France (1766-1848).
The Nuttall Encyclopaedia. James Wood. 1907.
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